Friday, October 31, 2008

escape from new york

oh, to flee to the forest. that's exactly what ej and i did for a few days (thank you, hanna!) and it was great. we drove (even that was a treat) to upstate ny and stayed at a fabulous place called creek locks bed and breakfast. if you're ever near new paltz and need a place to stay, go there. kate makes deeeelicious breakfasts and john will set you up with gps to guide you anywhere you want to go. their golden retriever, indy, is perhaps the friendliest, most well behaved dog i've ever met. true, it was cold and rainy most of the time, but i enjoy hunkering down in a warm and cozy recliner and reading us weekly (it's important to be up on the latest news) as much as i enjoy a walk amongst the trees.

as a side note, i did notice that i felt much more aware of my baldness outside of new york city. i ended up keeping my hat on most of the time, even indoors because it never felt like the right time for The Reveal. as a result, it was really nice to chat with kate and john without having to discuss cancer.

crossing the george washington bridge and leaving nyc behind.

i see them! up ahead! on our way, we were happy to discover that there were still trees with color.

at the b&b, one of my favorite rooms was the library.

breakfast #1 included incredible lemon pancakes and local organic bacon. i could eat a lot of both. in fact, i had already started in on the piggy before i remembered to take a photo.

indy came by to say hello. and i'm pretty sure he also said, "i love you. you're both my favorites. out of everyone." that's kate in the background.

this is kate's husband, john. both are retired teachers. try to picture him with long hair and a full beard because that's what he looked like when he was a hippy in the 70's. he was at the first woodstock. we talked about traveling through europe. we discussed politics. the next morning, john left for pennsylvania where he was joining the obama campaign to make phone calls to voters.

because ej and i were the only guests, we were upgraded to the suite. this was our bathroom. i loved this bathroom and did some quality thinking here.

ah, the bedroom in our suite. that bed was so comfortable, all nestled in down. we even had a choice of soft or firm pillows. now that's luxury.

the view from one of our windows. below is the fire ring that we'll have to enjoy next time because this time we were met by cold, rain, and hail.

since hiking and kayaking were postponed, we took a drive and decided to visit hyde park, where fdr and eleanor roosevelt lived, but on the way we stopped to check out an old cemetery.

here, ej performs his impressive ode to the dead dance.

this is the house where fdr, eleanor, and fdr's mother, sarah, lived. for a while. until fdr had a separate house built for eleanor. i do believe she had her fill of her mother-in-law.

i took this photo before i found out that they don't allow any photography. it's a yummy room where lots of important things happened, none of which i remember.

this is another part of the same massive room. churchill may have sat in that chair. well, maybe not that petit chair.

out on the grounds, we discovered a gang of wild turkeys. ej showed off his realistic mating call and even did a little turkey dance, but none of them seemed to be interested. this was as they ran from us.

after the turkey encounter, we found the final resting place of fdr and eleanor.

we also visited the fdr presidential library and museum. this is his mother sarah who had a very imposing personality. we were told that when franklin was born, he was breech and weighed over 10 pounds. sarah never had another child. also, she didn't seem to care for eleanor very much. with all of the photos in their huge house, only one included eleanor.

we had a paraplegic president. i don't think that would happen these days, unfortunately. fdr worked hard to keep the extent of his physical challenges quiet, and the press cooperated.

fdr was 39 when he contracted polio and he never fully recovered the use of his legs.

when he was young, he enjoyed photography.

he gave a few of his fireside chats from this room in the presidential library. he had wheelchairs specially made for him because he didn't like the bulkiness of traditional wheelchairs. judging from the wheelchairs on display, he had a tiny hiney.

i love this painting of churchill.

fdr's loyal dog, fala.

sadly (maybe not sadly for you), by the time i got to the eleanor section of the museum, the battery in my camera died. i think eleanor was the bees knees, but the only photo i have of her memorabilia is this one of her suitcase and some uniform (i didn't read the info for that).

we drove back to the b&b and relaxed in the library, but made the mistake of waiting too long to go out to dinner. we left at 9:30pm and soon realized that we were not in nyc anymore. virtually every restaurant was closed except for a 24 hour diner on some highway that we found thanks to a kind stranger. i was so tired, i could have closed my eyes and slept right where i was.

hunger and weariness are not a good combination for us. and this is why we can never be a team on the amazing race.

this is how i see the world before i eat.

the next morning, indy was waiting for us at the bottom of the stairs. that, combined with the incredible aromas wafting from the kitchen, made me very happy.

i accidentally left my flash on and nearly blinded the poor thing.

i had been doing so well to lay off of sugar and caffeine, but i was not about to skip any part of kate's beautiful breakfast. this was her apple pear crisp with berries.

there was also homemade zucchini bread with chocolate chips to tide us over before the main course.

and then breakfast appeared. fluffy scrambled eggs with local goat cheese. baked tomato topped with bread crumbs, parmesan, and seasonings. homemade, that's right, homemade sausage. this photo doesn't do it justice. goodness gracious, i'm salivating just at the memory of it. seriously.

after breakfast, i waddled around. i had to take a photo of the floors because i loved them almost as much as i loved the food. wide planks, refinished, original to the house which was built in 1866. i felt like kneeling down and just touching the floor, but i restrained myself.

i tried to get a photo of kate and indy, but indy was quicker than i.

eventually, i stole a shot.

after we checked out of the b&b, we drove to a state park since it was our last chance to walk amongst some trees. the drive there was gorgeous.

there were whole groves of yellow light filtered through yellow leaves. fantastic.

the trail we picked overlooked lake minnewaska in the shawangunk mountains.

i'm being very good by including only a fraction of the tree photos that i took. it was those darn leaves that took hold of me.

pretty berries. when i was a child, i ate plenty of plants that were growing around the yard at the house where i grew up. my appetite was aggressive even then. i did manage to refrain from eating these berries. i've matured.

explorer fry: master of his universe

cracking ourselves up.

this is a caterpillar on the wrong side of a spider's web.

up in the mountains, there was snow!

i love snow!

my woodland nymph.

ok, last tree photo.

we tore ourselves away because we had to return the rental car. before i knew it, we were crossing the tappan zee bridge back into new york city. our trip was over just as we were starting to relax.

post script: we stopped at a salvation army thrift store while upstate, and ej found this sign in the electronics area. it was too good not to share.


Sistah D said...

Oh Sandra you silly girl. Indy wasn't saying "I love you" to you and EJ. He was clearly saying "Deanna, come visit ME on Thanksgiving!!"

MCote` said...

I'm flashing back to a WILDLIFE BOOK you & I did in Miss Williams' class in 4th grade..
I have that & will send it your way. We'll keep passing it around like the traveling pants.I think you should consider a career as a photo journalist for National Geographic
&/or Food & Wine. :)
love Malia xo